Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013-It is well with my soul

Queridos Mios! Como le va?
So mom, in answer to your question, the latest news is that I am finally feeling better. 
I haven't been able to hear very well for about a week... with all the swelling and stuff my ears are going crazy.
I started to feel a little sick again last week, but I went in and they prescribed just another antibiotic "the dragon".. que caray.
ps. I'm really sorry about that phone call. The nurse at the desk didn't really understand why I wasn't allowed to call, and then she made it sound like I had died when she called you. lo siento! 
But. I've been using oils and they've done more for me than anything else. Of course. So I actually never went and got the second antibiotic. 
I'm just pumping liquids and 3 capsules a day, and my kidneys are back to functioning I think.
The work must go on! And it will!
How is everything back home? I honestly love hearing about everything. I don't really know where to start with my week, and it's boring just to talk about myself. 
Okay, so apart from all of those technicalities. This week was absolutely AMAZING. We are continuing to learn more than we ever thought was possible. 
We found some more incredible Spanish folks hiding in the woodwork this week. And we were able to get 5 people to church yesterday! Score!
As far as investigators, Carlos is still going strong. We had a lesson this week where he asked us all kinds of amazing questions, he's progressing, reading, praying, honestly his story is incredible! He WALKED here from Honduras when he was 14 years old, and made his way by working at a pizza place until he started his landscaping company at 16. He has so much faith and a sense of purpose and he honestly has the makings of a future general authority!!
Then, this past week, we found two kids, Marcos and Briana! Oh my heart. I love them so. We tracted into them one of the first nights here, but their dad was drunk, and didn't want to talk. But then we were given a referral, a "That house looks Spanish" referral, and so we checked it out. Same family. The dad, once again, was drunk, but the kids had listened to missionaries before, and he told us we could teach them. They're 12 and 7 and amazing! They're so strong and just have this light! We invited them to church, and sang I am a Child of God, and Briana said the sweetest prayer! I couldn't help but feel that these children are raising their dad.
Saturday we went by, helped them get their church clothes clean, do their chores, and we were sitting in the kitchen, and I asked Briana if we could sing again. She said "Hold on! I want to write down the words so I can sing it even when you're not here!" She started to write and Hermana Cooley goes, you spell really well for a 7 year old." She looked up at her "Um, I'm 8." We looked at each other, "What?" "My dad probably just forgot that I had my birthday on June 6! I'm 8!" 
We went by Sunday right before church, and Briana's dad had bought her a new dress, and they were all ready to go, except for he handed me the straightener with a helpless look on his face and said "Here, you finish it." So we finished her hair, got them all ready, and we ran into the door to the church right before they started.
They LOVED church! I handed them paper during sacrament and told them to write down any questions. Briana's first question: "What is an agency and obedience?" Marcos': "If I'm obedient to what God wants me to do, will the result always come out good?"
I just wanted to kiss their little cheeks. They are so great, and if anyone needs the happiness and hope of the gospel in their lives, it's these two! 
I am so humbled every week as I meet people and learn their stories. It never ceases to amaze me the things people go through. But through it all, I know that God is so aware of ALL of his children, and he blesses them with the capacities to withstand. 
I was thinking a lot this week about spiritual gifts, and talents. It's so interesting, especially in missionary work, to see the things that Heavenly Father blesses his children with in life. Some have the gift of being able to rise above even the most difficult of situations To harness that light and hope of Christ and use it to forgive, forget, and move forward with faith. Some have a gift of wisdom, knowledge. Some are gifted with words or writing, while others are gifted listeners.
I was reminded of that book we used to read when I was little "You Are Special". How the people of the town "classified" each other based on how many stars or dots they had. Our gifts are not always as visible as stars or dots. Just like the people in the story, we all have a mix of both as we go throughout this life. But the things that really stand out are the stars. I've thought about that this week as I've met others and gotten to know them. It's so interesting to look for their "stars" to see what makes them unique, what gets them, what they need. 
I thought about how the Master in the story, Eli, tells the Punchinello that "He doesn't make mistakes". Our Maker knows exactly what he's doing. He gives us stars, and dots, too. To help us to learn and to grow. The dots in life make the stars that much brighter and more grand. We all have things to overcome, problems to solve. And we can't do it all on our own. But through the Atonement, we receive the "enabling power" to move forward, to rise above, and to turn those dots to stars. We are HIS children, He knows us so individually, His plan is so perfect, and He LOVES us.
I know this is true. I see the simple words "I Am A Child Of God" change lives every single day. It's changed my life.
I love you all so much.
Thank you for all you do and are for me. I couldn't do this without knowing of the love and support I have from each of you.

Les Quiero Muchisimo!
Your Hermana C

Hermana Cooley says I am the 50's housewife!

Yay!  Finally baked a birthday cake!

Can you say Ahhh to strep!

Thumbs up! after a hospital visit and two rounds of antibiotics without much help, the oils now seem to be helping.
The work must go on!

Adam and Gina Smart-our mission momma and papa!

The family birthday banner, complete!

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